At The Table

Thinking about Jesus, culture, and everyday life.

Tag: think (page 1 of 3)

The Fight to Embrace Reality

It is an essential characteristic of us humans that we seem to never stop in our quest for truth. Survey any age, any culture, at any time, and there is one thing that you are bound to find: people asking and seeking answers to some of the most fundamental questions of life. Some of us more than others. Yet all to some extent. There is always an element in all of us that is hungry for answers. We cannot settle down to merely being utilitarian; that is, to merely fulfilling our role in society, going to work, paying the bills, and calling it good.

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The Flow of History and The Work of Ideas

“There is a flow to history and culture. This flow is rooted and has its wellspring in the thoughts of people. People are unique in the inner life of the mind – what they are in their thought world determines how they act. This is true of their value systems and it is true of their creativity. It is true of their corporate actions, such as political decisions, and it is true of their personal lives. The results of their thought world flow through their fingertips or from their tongues into the external world. This is true of Michelangelo’s chisel, and it is true of the dictators sword.

People have presuppositions, and they will live more consistently on the basis of these presuppositions than even they themselves may realize. By presuppositions we mean the basic way an individual looks at life, his basic worldview, the grid through which he sees the world. Presuppositions rest upon that which a person considers to be the truth of what exists. People’s presuppositions lay the grid for all they bring forth into the external world. Their presuppositions also provide the basis for their values and therefore the basis for their decisions.

“As a man thinketh, so is he,” is really most profound. An individual is not just the product of the forces around him. He has a mind, an inner world.”¹

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Unpacking the Modern Myth

“The picture so often painted of Christians huddling together on an ever narrower strip of beach while the incoming tide of “Science” mounts higher and higher corresponds to nothing in my own experience. That grand myth which I asked you to admire a few minutes ago is not for me a hostile novelty breaking in on my traditional beliefs. On the contrary, that cosmology is what I started from. Deepening distrust and final abandonment of it long preceded my conversion to Christianity. Long before I believed Theology to be true I had already decided that the popular scientific picture at any rate was false.

One absolutely central inconsistency ruins it; it is the one we touched on a fortnight ago. The whole picture professes to depend on inferences from observed facts. Unless inference is valid, the whole picture disappears. Unless we can be sure that reality in the remotest nebula or the remotest part obeys the thought laws of the human scientist here and now in his laboratory—in other words, unless Reason is an absolute—all is in ruins. Yet those who ask me to believe this world picture also ask me to believe that Reason is simply the unforeseen and unintended by-product of mindless matter at one stage of its endless and aimless becoming. Here is flat contradiction.

They ask me at the same moment to accept a conclusion and to discredit the only testimony on which that conclusion can be based. The difficulty is to me a fatal one; and the fact that when you put it to many scientists, far from having an answer, they seem not even to understand what the difficulty is, assures me that I have not found a mare’s nest but detected a radical disease in their whole mode of thought from the very beginning. The man who has once understood the situation is compelled henceforth to regard the scientific cosmology as being, in principle, a myth; though no doubt a great many true particulars have been worked into it.”

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That Crazy Stuff People Believe

Have you heard some of the crazy stuff people believe these days? I mean its nuts. For one, there are those thousands of people that believe that that God wants them to take over the world for him, murdering, robbing and raping anyone who gets in the way. There’s also people that think that God just created the whole universe in 6 days. Yeah, just erase hundreds of years of scientific research for the sake of a “Holy Book” that was written thousands of years ago. If that’s not wild enough, there are people who actually look out on the universe and see nothing but a biological machine completely void of any intrinsic meaning or purpose. Many of these people really believe that love and beauty are not real at all – they are mere evolutionary mirages who’s sole function is to keep us moving. Talk about crazy!

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Venturing Through the Thicket

I think that people who don’t do much journaling or writing often look at those who do and think, “Gosh, lucky for them it comes so easily. They just have a way with words.” Recently I was trying to encourage a close brother in arms in his labors. He seemed to be communicating the point that because it is hard, then he wasn’t built for it.

In the course of our conversation I myself began to realize that, the fact that writing is hard work is actually the whole point. The process of writing is a quest for clarity on something that we think we already understand. Its a fight to own that which we think we understand. It is quite inevitable that this path will be a challenge. It will require the twisting and turning of our perspective. It will require us to see things from new angles.

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